Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall Family Vacation + My 32nd Birthday Celebration

We had been wanting to go on a family vacation for quite some time.  We never got around to it this past summer, so when fall came around and the heat finally dropped, we decided to go for it.  We booked a weekend at the JW Marriott in San Antonio and stopped at Enchanted Rock on the way there.  The resort was amazing, totally family friendly and nice for couple retreat time as well so much so that  I think we will definitely go back.  They have a huge water park that will be much better in the summer.  

 starting out on the hike

 picnic at the top

Zoe's new found love for cactus- she now points them out wherever we go

Met Uncle Rich and Aunt June for a birthday drink

Racing the ducks- sadly we did not win

 Visited the Alamo

 Birthday wine and cheese left by the sweet check-in guy

 playing checkers

 Moonlight goof session

This weekend was bittersweet.....while it was so nice for us to get away, it was also the last weekend my dad was up and at 'em.  When we left on Friday, Dad had just started hospice and was still up and moving around.  I was wary to go and leave him, but he insisted and told us to go and have a good time since we had everything pre-booked.  By Sunday, he had taken a bad fall and was confined to the hospital bed that was set up in their master bedroom.  We rushed back on Monday and he was pretty much unresponsive and in a coma.  He was kept comfortable for a few days and passed away on Friday, October 25th.  I'm still struggling with this today- I hate that I did not really get to say goodbye while he was still conscious.  But I also know that he had been in so much pain these last few months and I do not regret starting hospice one bit, in fact, I wish he had let us start it earlier b/c I think it would have helped with his pain.  Dad put up a hell of a fight and I am thankful that he is no longer fighting this battle on earth.  We had a beautiful service on Wednesday, October 30th and I was overwhelmed seeing the wide range of people that influenced his life in one way or another.

This was taken the weekend before, on October 12th.  We gathered the Newell family together at Dad's request not knowing at the time that this was be our last dinner with Dad and the whole family.  You would think that we would have been prepared since he had been battling the cancer for 10 months, but looking back on it, the end all seemed to happen so fast.  

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